TokenInsight Releases Annual Report on Cryptocurrency Mobile Payments Market

January 24, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

If you had to describe the 2018 market for cryptocurrency in only one word, you might well choose to use an obscenity. Everyone who bought bitcoin at $19,000 in early January or late December 2017 likely is. Calling this market “volatile” or “turbulent” or even “confused” might make sense here. TokenInsight, meanwhile, sent a copy of its 2018 Cryptocurrency Exchange Annual Report our way, and gave us some insight into that absolutely dizzying market by focusing on the exchanges.

One of the biggest patterns to emerge is that many cryptocurrency exchanges opened up, and most were decentralized. The market, however, winnowed a lot of these out of favor with traders as they had slow speeds and high fees, making them inherently unattractive. Trade volume for these exchanges is just two percent of what the centralized exchanges are doing, owing likely primarily to improved performance.

Asia and Europe are preferred registration points, owing mainly to issues of government policy surrounding exchanges and cryptocurrency. Not even 10 percent of exchanges are operating out of Oceania or South America for much the same reason.

A general downward trend dominated, though there were some bright spots occurring in April to May and October to November, and the market share of individual exchanges remained relatively static throughout that whole time.

Diversity in trading, oddly, isn’t a priority for most exchanges. TokenInsight noted that 72.5 percent of all exchanges offer less than 50 trading pairs, while only 14 exchanges total—about 4.38 percent of the total—offer over 200. Given that there are better than 1,600 cryptocurrencies available, that means there are a lot of largely untraded possibilities out there.

It’s almost a surprise that scarcity factors haven’t kicked in for all but the most popularly-traded coins, making them all that much more expensive for it being difficult to figure out how to actually buy them. This may be another big issue; while we’re seeing ATMs pop up for bitcoin, we’re not seeing such facilities go live for anything else. With so many potential cryptos on hand to buy and sell, it’s not exactly easy to get hands on most of them.

Perhaps 2019 is the year that changes. Or perhaps, 2019 is the year cryptocurrency ultimately fades out. Only the arrival of 2020 will tell for sure.